Ways to play songs

You can play music in iTunes in various ways.

Click Repeat to repeat a song, album, or playlist. Click Shuffle to turn shuffle on or off. Drag the scrubber to go to a different part of the song. Click Up Next to create a playlist on the fly.

Shuffle or repeat songs

Do any of the following:

  • Turn shuffle on or off: Click the Shuffle button Two crossing curved gray arrows pointing to the right.

    Shuffle is on when the arrows are blue Two crossing curved blue arrows pointing to the right.

  • Shuffle albums or groupings: Choose Controls > Turn On Shuffle > “by Albums” (or “by Groupings”). iTunes plays the songs in the order in which they appear on the album or in the grouping, and then chooses another album or grouping at random.

  • Repeat songs, albums, or playlists: Click the Repeat button Two curved arrows chasing each other to form an ellipse to play a song or playlist over and over, until you turn off Repeat.

    The repeat button in its three states: Repeat all songs, Repeat the currently playing song, Repeat off

See a list of upcoming songs with Up Next

While listening to music, you can use Up Next to view and change which songs play next. For example, if you’re listening to a playlist, you can use Up Next to switch to an album after the currently playing song. When the album finishes, iTunes resumes playing the playlist.

Click the Up Next button to view the Up Next list, click the History button to view the Previously Played list

  • View the Up Next list: Click the Up Next button Icon of a numbered list.

  • Play a song in the list: Double-click the song.

  • Add or move a song to the top of the list: Move the pointer over the song, click White arrow pointing to the right inside a gray circle, and choose Play Next.

  • Add a song or album to the list: Drag the item to the top-center of the iTunes window.

  • Change the order of songs in the list: Drag the songs into the order you want.

  • Remove a song from the list: Move the pointer over the song and click the Delete button Delete icon, an X inside a gray dot.

  • Remove all songs from the list: Click the Clear button at the top right of the list one or more times.

  • See which songs played previously: Click the History button Icon of a clock and a list at the top-right of the list. To return to the Up Next list, click the History button again.

If you quit iTunes, the Up Next list is automatically saved for the next time you open iTunes.

Play songs in a specific order

  1. Choose Music from the Library pop-up menu, and click Songs.

  2. To play songs in alphabetical order by song title, artist, or album (or to sort by any other category), click a column heading.

    To select more categories, choose View > View Options.

Fade between songs

You can set iTunes to fade each song in (increase it in volume) while the previous song is fading out, so there are no gaps of silence between songs. This feature is called crossfading.

  1. Choose iTunes > Preferences, and click Playback.

  2. Select Crossfade Songs.

  3. To change the amount of time it takes for the current song to fade out at the end and the new song to fade in, drag the Seconds slider.

When iTunes plays consecutive tracks from the same album, crossfading is automatically turned off, with no fading between the songs (or tracks).

To play songs without fading, deselect Crossfade Songs.

Prevent a song from playing

  1. Choose Music from the Library pop-up menu, and click Songs.

  2. Deselect the checkbox to the left of the song.

    Detail of the Songs view in music, showing the checkboxes

Important:  Deselecting a song’s checkbox removes the checkmark from the song in all playlists.

Play CDs automatically when you insert them

  1. Choose iTunes > Preferences.

  2. In the General pane, choose Begin Playing from the “When you insert a CD” pop-up menu.

To prevent a song from playing, deselect the checkbox to the left of the song title.

To have iTunes open CDs without playing them, choose iTunes > Preferences, click General, and choose Show CD from the “When you insert a CD” pop-up menu.